Would friends have made a difference?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Beefster
Posts: 487
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 18:38

Would friends have made a difference?

Post by Beefster » 11 Mar 2018, 16:16

After about 6.5 months into a new area, I've come to be feel closer with my coworkers than any member of my ward. I don't feel safe talking about my FC with anyone in the ward. I simply don't trust anyone anywhere close to that level. I would trust some friends I've had in the past... Just not these folks.

They're good and trustworthy people, don't get me wrong, but a FC is incredibly personal- moreso than depression, which I have been very open about for at least a year. I can take some of the blame on my friendlessness, but I never really clicked with anyone and few made any effort at all to reach out to me individually. The one girl who did is now moving. I won't blame my ward for my current situation, but I wonder how things would be different if I made a friend whom I could trust with my faith crisis.

I'm honestly a bit jealous of those of you who were married before of your faith crisis. You had/have a support to lean on and love you through your struggles.

It's often very frustrating to me that this church is by extraverts for extraverts. They don't have a clue how to reach out to introverts. They don't seem to understand that people like me find ward socials, FHE, and even church, very exhausting. I've been lucky enough to be in an introvert-friendly ward, so I know it's possible. Maybe it's an unrealistic expectation, but that doesn't change the fact that only one ward, other than my family ward growing up, has ever made me feel like I mattered to someone at a personal level. Only those two wards has ever had the kind of people who earned my trust. Only the one YSA ward had the kind of people who would follow me out into the hall when I just couldn't handle people or church anymore and be there to comfort me. Maybe I have to take some steps to be vulnerable, but when there is nobody in the ward who I feel I can trust, I feel like I'd be playing roulette and I don't know whether I'd be getting comfort or someone trying to fix me.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

AmyJ
Posts: 696
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Would friends have made a difference?

Post by AmyJ » 12 Mar 2018, 06:43

Beefster wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 16:16
I'm honestly a bit jealous of those of you who were married before of your faith crisis. You had/have a support to lean on and love you through your struggles.
Umm no. The opportunity for dagger in the back and other betrayals in the name of "what's best for the marriage and/or your spirituality and/or the children" is real. The grass is not greener on this side of the fence my friend.
Beefster wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 16:16
It's often very frustrating to me that this church is by extraverts for extraverts. They don't have a clue how to reach out to introverts. They don't seem to understand that people like me find ward socials, FHE, and even church, very exhausting. I've been lucky enough to be in an introvert-friendly ward, so I know it's possible. Maybe it's an unrealistic expectation, but that doesn't change the fact that only one ward, other than my family ward growing up, has ever made me feel like I mattered to someone at a personal level. Only those two wards has ever had the kind of people who earned my trust. Only the one YSA ward had the kind of people who would follow me out into the hall when I just couldn't handle people or church anymore and be there to comfort me. Maybe I have to take some steps to be vulnerable, but when there is nobody in the ward who I feel I can trust, I feel like I'd be playing roulette and I don't know whether I'd be getting comfort or someone trying to fix me.
I am sorry. I understand completely. We were in wards for over 5 years before we started finding people in our wards to relate to. It is this branch that has been the best fit for us socially.

Is there any way you can ward-hop to find a ward you want to live in in the area and then relocate? Since you are single, it might be easier.

When we were life-hunting in Michigan, we visited the wards in the areas we wanted to live in. We gave the realtor the branch boundaries of the branch that we felt comfortable in. It turned out that for our living space requirements, price point, and commute - there weren't any houses available outside the branch, but it was a factor for us.

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Beefster
Posts: 487
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 18:38

Re: Would friends have made a difference?

Post by Beefster » 12 Mar 2018, 07:44

I'm considering going to the family ward. I also live pretty close to the border of my ward, so I can fudge it with one of the other nearby singles wards. :shifty:

My lease doesn't expire until August and I like where I live and I don't really want to move.

I might just need a break altogether. :-/
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

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LookingHard
Posts: 2851
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Would friends have made a difference?

Post by LookingHard » 12 Mar 2018, 08:31

Beefster wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 16:16
I'm honestly a bit jealous of those of you who were married before of your faith crisis. You had/have a support to lean on and love you through your struggles.
This is not what it feels like in my case. I am in my 50's and it felt to me that coming out to my wife that I wasn't a believer ran a real risk of me being divorced in my 50's. I have seen this story a few times and it almost never ends "happily ever after." If an older guy like me is able to find someone that has a reasonably good head on their shoulders AND is interested in me (the somewhat broke guy paying child support and alimony). I am only now healing from my faith crisis and my earlier marriage conflicts. I could easily see myself really being angered if I was in the heat of my faith crisis and my wife divorced me. I am not sure the better me would come out. I would probably be pissed all over the place in my life. So I lean on it being easier to deal with a faith crisis before being married, but then again I have a few friends where both partners left at the same time and it was a blessing.

But I don't want to diminish that it is hard for you now. I had the advantage of my work and financial footing sturdy when my faith crisis occurred and I didn't have to directly worry about those on top of all the turmoil. Best of luck.
Beefster wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 16:16
It's often very frustrating to me that this church is by extraverts for extraverts. They don't have a clue how to reach out to introverts. They don't seem to understand that people like me find ward socials, FHE, and even church, very exhausting.
As an introvert - AMEN!

Roy
Posts: 4956
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Would friends have made a difference?

Post by Roy » 12 Mar 2018, 14:37

"Would friends have made the difference?"
I asked myself this same question when I had my faith crisis. Our third child was stillborn. We lived in a rural area where we were the only members in town. Church was far away and we saw other church members only on Sunday. We had no close church friends to speak of.

Not only that but I did open up to some non-LDS people. My employer had a counselor on staff that I met with. Another co-worker was a great listener.

DW and I joined a support group for people who have lost children to death. I believe I was able to bond with these people at the very least to see that their perspectives were valid. I could no longer feel superior to them. I could no longer say things like "We are so lucky to have an eternal family" as though our grief process was more enlightened and divine than theirs.

I do believe IF we had lived in a majority LDS area and IF the LDS support we were receiving at that time was sufficient for our needs THEN we would probably have never looked outside of LDS circles for comfort and answers.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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